By Portia Williams
October 20, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
“Remember My Life” was the theme for the 23rd annual Candlelight Vigil held at the courthouse Thursday. The Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence hosts the event in remembrance of local residents who have been killed due to acts of domestic violence.
Judge Jerry Buckler, who was the guest speaker for the vigil, spoke to the group about warning signs for domestic violence and how to seek help.
“This event is very important, it is very emotional. My court is one of the avenues that people can go to to seek help. I had to be here and I am glad to be here,” Buckler said.
Buckler said he would be participating in a summit mandated by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
“The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio Maureen O’Connor has issued a charge to all domestic relations judges in Ohio, and in April of 2014, we are having what is called a Domestic Relations Summit. She has assigned every judge that does Domestic Relations to pick a five-person team to bring with us to Columbus,” Buckler said.
Buckler said one of his team members for the summit would be Rhonda Adkins, who has served as a Court Advocate for the Southern Ohio Task Force on Domestic Violence for eight years.
“I wanted someone had working knowledge and ability to express the opinion of Scioto County as it pertains to domestic violence,” Buckler said.
Adkins said she is honored by the appointment by Judge Buckler.
“I am very proud to be a part of the summit. Judge Buckler told me he knew how outgoing I was in working with the victims of domestic violence. I can’t wait to be able to give my input and help with this important effort,” Adkins said.
Opening remarks at the vigil were given by Mary Kate Dilts-Skaggs, Master of Ceremonies.
A total of 29 Candles were lit representing 29 people from the area that have been killed in domestic violence situations.
Song selections were rendered by Lindsay Carver, who sang,’Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ and Julie Ratcliff, who sang, ‘Remember Me.’
The floor was opened for attendees to share personal stories about members of their families whose lives were claimed by domestic violence.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.